Following on from her successful exhibition in 2005, Jackie Ralph continues to explore themes of cultural identity and cultural disconnection through her paintings of Japanese Sumo wrestlers.
Ralph’s interest in Sumo wrestlers began while she was living in Japan. The wrestlers live in a world virtually unaffected by modern Japan. Everything they do is dictated by history and tradition. Ralph is interested not only in the way Sumo wrestlers move, but also in their cultural forms which remain mostly unaffected by globalization.
In this exhibition, Ralph presents the wrestlers in a state of mental preparation. Each giant is engaged in the ritualistic act of throwing salt, which is a process of purification that occurs moments before a bout.
Ralph has titled this exhibition Giants, not due to their size, but because the Sumo are giants in history, having survived for thousands of years, with their culture intact.
Jackie Ralph recently completed a Masters Degree in Fine Art at the Victorian College of the Arts. She has exhibited in Japan and Victoria.